Buffy's Swan Song at Ken Theater Jay Allen Sanford 1.7.8
I confess ---- I once broke up with a girl over Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Over the few months we dated, we watched episodes of the series together, and she seemed to enjoy the show as much as I did (and still do).
Then, I put on a video of the musical "Once More With Feeling" episode, which I consider one of the all-time coolest hours of television - just brilliant stuff. My girl didn't even get through the second song before she stood up and announced, with disdain on her face and poison in her tone, "This is stupid. I hate this," and she left the room.
I knew at that precise moment that this was not a girl I could ever respect, let alone love.
That was a couple of years ago. Last September, I heard that the Buffy Musical episode would be screened in my favorite surviving single-screen theater, the Ken in Kensington, in an October 5th audience-participation blowout.
Though attending fans didn't know at the time, that Ken event was the final curtain call for the traveling show based around "Once More With Feeling." 20th Century Fox, which owns the program, has demanded all future audience-participation screenings be shut down.
"Notice for this was very sudden and unexpected," says event founder Clinton McClung on the Buffy Musical website. "Basically, the idea of presenting television shows in a theatre is so new that there are a lot of details that still need to be resolved around payments of residuals, deals with the guilds and unions, etc."
McClung says he did arrange licensing authorization through Criterion Pictures, the theatrical distributor for Fox's television shows. However, Fox says Criterion had no authority to license the sing-a-long screenings, which have also taken place in Los Angeles , New York City, San Francisco, Michigan , Maine , and Hawaii .
Chris Alexander at Fox says in a press release that "significant payments" should have been tendered before the musical Buffy episode got its Rocky Horror-style theatrical makeover. "We have to protect our interests, and that's what we're doing.There are plenty of legal ways for fans to enjoy Buffy, but this particular event is not going to be possible at this time."
Event organizer McClung says "Both Fox and Criterion need to fix some of these issues before [we] can continue to do any theatrical screenings." A three-night St. Louis screening has been cancelled, as was a proposed NYC event. "For now, it looks like San Diego was our swan song."
I wonder if my ex is now working for Fox Television?